The Senate Resources Committee is holding its confirmation hearing for Fish & Game Commissioner Will Naillon of Challis this afternoon. The first question from Chairman Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth: Noting that Naillon is a member of the Boone and Crockett Club, he asked how many trophy heads Naillon has listed. Naillon answered none – yet. The club keeps record books on big game trophy heads and horns. Asked by Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, why he wants to be on the Fish & Game Commission, Naillon said, “I feel like I’ve been training for this position my whole life, with all the sporting activities that I do. … I haven’t always agreed with the Fish & Game. … I was asked to put in for the position. … I decided to give it a go.”
In the audience was Idaho’s other new Fish & Game commissioner, Joan Hurlock of Buhl; a confirmation hearing for her appointment hasn’t yet been scheduled, amid concerns raised by some sportsmen about her experience and knowledge of hunting, fishing and wildlife management. Hurlock is the second woman ever to serve on the commission.
Naillon stressed his experience as a sportsman in his comments to the committee; lawmakers also grilled him about wolves, and about landowner and big game issues in Custer and Lemhi counties, among other topics. Under questioning, Naillon acknowledged he has no formal degree or certification in wildlife management, but he said his life experience and his six months on the commission have given him the necessary experience to serve. Fish & Game commissioners are required by state law to be “well informed upon, and interested in, the subject of wildlife conservation and restoration.”
The panel also has a visit with the whole commission scheduled during this afternoon’s meeting.